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It is sometimes difficult to determine exactly how to understand and apply what Jesus taught. In Luke chapter six and elsewhere, Jesus is teaching forgiveness, generosity, and liberality – or love, as the proper way or means to handle difficult personal situations that we are confronted with; as opposed to the strict application of the law that is to apply in civil matters. This is why Jesus said: "Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way traveling with him, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last fraction of a penny" (Matt. 5:25-26). If we fail to resolve our personal matters before we are taken to court, then the judge must rule according to the law and not according to his personal feelings and opinions. Lawbreakers must not be seen as getting away with their lawlessness, under Old Testament law there were no sacrifices or forgiveness for deliberately breaking the law; those that stole had to pay back more than they took or be made a servant, those that injured were to receive the same punishment and pay retribution, those that deliberately took another’s life must be put to death themselves. (Ex. 21:1-25; 22:1-6; Num. 35:30-34)
But for the Christian, "the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death" (Rom. 8:2), and has given us the ability and responsibility, to be lead by the Holy Spirit to know and to live by a much higher calling than the Old Testament Law, especially in our personal lives – and this is also the reason why love is the fulfilling or keeping of the whole of the Law, and this is what Jesus is teaching us about in this sixth chapter of Luke.
ROMANS 13:8-10.... Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one's fellowmen, meeting all its requirements]. The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. [Ex. 20:13-17; Lev. 19:18.] Love does no wrong to one's neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.
Partial Outline of the sixth chapter of Luke:
New Way to think, reason, understand and act
Ex. 21:1-25 Now these are the ordinances you [Moses] shall set before [the Israelites]. If you buy a Hebrew servant [as the result of debt or theft], he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, paying nothing. [Lev. 25:39.] . . . .
7If a man sells his daughter to be a maidservant or bondwoman, she shall not go out [in six years] as menservants do. If she does not please her master who has not espoused her to himself, he shall let her be redeemed. To sell her to a foreign people he shall have no power, for he has dealt faithlessly with her. . . .
12Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God allowed him to fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee [for protection until duly tried]. [Num. 35:22-28.] But if a man comes willfully upon another to slay him craftily, you shall take him from My altar [to which he may have fled for protection], that he may die. Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. Whoever kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or is found with him in his possession, shall surely be put to death. Whoever curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
18If men quarrel and one strikes another with a stone or with his fist and he does not die but keeps his bed, if he rises again and walks about leaning upon his staff, then he that struck him shall be clear, except he must pay for the loss of his time and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. And if a man strikes his servant or his maid with a rod and he [or she] dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. But if the servant lives on for a day or two, the offender shall not be punished, for he [has injured] his own property.
22If men contend with each other, and a pregnant woman [interfering] is hurt so that she has a miscarriage, yet no further damage follows, [the one who hurt her] shall surely be punished with a fine [paid] to the woman's husband, as much as the judges determine. But if any damage follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, and lash for lash.
Ex. 22:1-12....If a man steals an ox or sheep and kills or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, or four sheep for a sheep. If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no blood shed for him. But if the sun has risen [so he can be seen], blood must be shed for slaying him. The thief [if he lives] must make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. If the beast which he stole is found in his possession alive, whether it is ox or ass or sheep, he shall restore double.
5If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man's field, he shall make restitution of the best of his own field or his own vineyard. If fire breaks out and catches so that the stacked grain or standing grain or the field be consumed, he who kindled the fire shall make full restitution.
Num. 35:30-34.... Whoever kills any person [intentionally], the murderer shall be put to death on the testimony of witnesses; but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. Moreover, you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer guilty of death; but he shall surely be put to death. And you shall accept no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, so that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest. So you shall not pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood shed in it, but by the blood of him who shed it. And you shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I, the Lord, dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.
Luke 6:1-5.... One SABBATH while Jesus was passing through the fields of standing grain, it occurred that His disciples picked some of the spikes and ate [of the grain], rubbing it out in their hands. [Deut. 23:25.] But some of the Pharisees asked them, Why are you doing what is not permitted to be done on the Sabbath days? [Ex. 20:10; 23:12; Deut. 5:14.] And Jesus replied to them, saying, Have you never so much as read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him?-- [1 Sam. 21:1-6.] how he went into the house of God and took and ate the [sacred] loaves of the showbread, which it is not permitted for any except only the priests to eat, and also gave to those [who were] with him? [Lev. 24:9.] And He said to them, The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
Luke 6:6-11.... And it occurred on another Sabbath that when He went into the synagogue and taught, a man was present whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees kept watching Jesus to see whether He would [actually] heal on the Sabbath, in order that they might get [some ground for] accusation against Him. But He was aware all along of their thoughts, and He said to the man with the withered hand, Come and stand here in the midst. And he arose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, I ask you, is it lawful and right on the Sabbath to do good [so that someone derives advantage from it] or to do evil, to save a life [and make a soul safe] or to destroy it? Then He glanced around at them all and said to the man, Stretch out your hand! And he did so, and his hand was fully restored like the other one. But they were filled with lack of understanding and senseless rage and discussed (consulted) with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Luke 6:20-23.... And solemnly lifting up His eyes on His disciples, He said: Blessed (happy-- with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition--and to be envied) are you poor and lowly and afflicted (destitute of wealth, influence, position, and honor), for the kingdom of God is yours! Blessed (happy-- with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition--and to be envied) are you who hunger and seek with eager desire now, for you shall be filled and completely satisfied! Blessed (happy-- with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition--and to be envied) are you who weep and sob now, for you shall laugh! Blessed (happy-- with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition--and to be envied) are you when people despise (hate) you, and when they exclude and excommunicate you [as disreputable] and revile and denounce you and defame and cast out and spurn your name as evil (wicked) on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and be glad at such a time and exult and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is rich and great and strong and intense and abundant in heaven; for even so their forefathers treated the prophets.
Luke 6:24-26.... But woe to (alas for) you who are rich ( abounding in material resources), for you already are receiving your consolation (the solace and sense of strengthening and cheer that come from prosperity) and have taken and enjoyed your comfort in full [having nothing left to be awarded you]. Woe to (alas for) you who are full now (completely filled, luxuriously gorged and satiated), for you shall hunger and suffer want! Woe to (alas for) you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep and wail! Woe to (alas for) you when everyone speaks fairly and handsomely of you and praises you, for even so their forefathers did to the false prophets.
Luke 12:11-12.... And when they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be anxious [beforehand] how you shall reply in defense or what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour and moment what [you] ought to say.
Luke 6:27-31.... But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred, invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God's blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you]. To the one who strikes you on the jaw or cheek, offer the other jaw or cheek also; and from him who takes away your outer garment, do not withhold your undergarment as well. Give away to everyone who begs of you [who is in want of necessities], and of him who takes away from you your goods, do not demand or require them back again. And as you would like and desire that men would do to you, do exactly so to them.
Luke 6:32-36.... If you [merely] love those who love you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even the [very] sinners love their lovers (those who love them). And if you are kind and good and do favors to and benefit those who are kind and good and do favors to and benefit you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even the preeminently sinful do the same. And if you lend money at interest to those from whom you hope to receive, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? Even notorious sinners lend money at interest to sinners, so as to recover as much again. But love your enemies and be kind and do good [doing favors so that someone derives benefit from them] and lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return but considering nothing as lost and despairing of no one; and then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense, and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked. So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive, and compassionate) even as your Father is [all these].
Luke 6:37-38.... Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released. Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.
Luke 6:39-49).... He further told them a proverb: Can a blind [man] guide and direct a blind [man]? Will they not both stumble into a ditch or a hole in the ground? A pupil is not superior to his teacher, but everyone [when he is] completely trained (readjusted, restored, set to rights, and perfected) will be like his teacher.
41Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye but do not notice or consider the beam [of timber] that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the beam that is in your own eye? You actor (pretender, hypocrite)! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye. For there is no good (healthy) tree that bears decayed (worthless, stale) fruit, nor on the other hand does a decayed (worthless, sickly) tree bear good fruit. For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit; for figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a bramblebush. The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.
46Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you? For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words [in order to heed their teaching] and does them, I will show you what he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or founded on a rock. But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.